New galleries opened at Salar Jung Museum, epigraphy museum on the cards

Hyderabad: Union Minister G Kishan Reddy inaugurated the three galleries at Salar Jung Museum on Sunday, January 21, with over 250 exhibits that take visitors back to the 19th century.

The museum’s newly inaugurated halls in the western block of the second floor include European marble and bronze sculptures and a chandelier gallery. Visitors are guided here through a spiral staircase. 

There are sculptures of Roman Mercurius to Michelangelo’s David and Cynthia. Every exhibit is eye-catching. “Unlike earlier, the placement of the statues is now proper. There are lights and spotlights. It makes the display much better,” staff at the museum said. 

“The is ‘Mercury on flight’ sculpture of Greek messenger of gods pointing upwards towards Jupiter, carrying caduceus in his hand,” Museum director Ashish Goyal told Kishan Reddy during the inauguration.

Greek messenger of god pointing upwards towards Jupiter

The Bronze statuary showcases sculptures, some original from the 19th and 20th centuries, and some copies coming from the same era from Europe. 

The lamp gallery houses lamps procured from different parts of the world, including Birmingham, Austria, America, France, Germany, Bohemia, India, Venice, and Italy. 

“With time, the difficulty in using kerosene lamps paved way for the electric lamps,” explained Ashish Goyal. “Now, all the lamps are lit with specially designed LED lights.”  

Experimental lamps displayed in this gallery include cut glass lamps, vase-shaped lamps, ormolu mount lamps, globe-shaped lamps, ‘Hinks and Duplex’ inscribed glass lamps, lamps on porcelain vases, oil lamps inside metallic frames, porcelain lamps, owl and camel-shaped lamps, lamp mounted on an elephant, chariot and even a snake, ‘Defries Safety Lamp’ inscribed brass oil lamp, and ‘Messenger’s DP’ inscribed lamps.  

Epigraphy Museum to be launched in February

The Union minister also announced that an Epigraphy Museum will be launched at Salar Jung Museum in February. “Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has allocated funds for the museum in 2023, and works will begin in February this year,” he said.  

The Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions (BharatSHRI) with over 1 lakh ancient inscriptions will be set up in the Epigraphy Museum at Salar Jung Museum, he said. 

‘Last Supper’, embossed bronze frame representing the scene of the Last Supper of Jesus with the Twelve Apostles. The original is a mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
‘Venus and Mars’: Ancient Roman goddess of love Venus and the god of war Mars. An original work commissioned by Antonio Canova ‘Queen Marie Antoinette’, last queen of France before the French revolution. The statue is sculpted by Jean Antoine Houdon (1741-1828).
‘Portrait of Napoleon’ by R Colombo (1856-1899) an Italian sculptor, famous for his representations of Napoleon